THE GLOBAL ROLE OF THE CROP TRUST
In 1996, after long negotiations, 150 countries adopted the first Global Plan of Action (GPA) for conserving and using crop diversity. The GPA called for a rational global conservation system, based on the principles of effectiveness, efficiency and transparency. In 2011, the Second Global Plan of Action reiterated that call.
In between, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which came into force in 2004, placed an effective, efficient global system at the core of its efforts to conserve and use crop diversity for food security.
The Crop Trust was established by Bioversity International on behalf of the CGIAR and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to help support this global system in a sustainable way, through a Crop Diversity Endowment Fund. This provides long-term grants to safeguard collections of unique and valuable crop diversity held in genebanks around the world. Priority is given to 25 crops among those listed in Annex 1 of the International Treaty, of particular importance to the food security of least developed countries.
The Convention on Biological Diversity
Convention on Biological Diversity raised concerns about the conservation of crop diversity.
First "In-Trust" Agreements
CGIAR Centre – FAO signed “in-trust” agreements requiring centres to maintain and freely distribute plant genetic resources for food and agriculture collections forever.
External Review of International Collections
External review of the international genebanks raised concerns over funding priorities.
The Global Plan of Action
Global Plan of Action adopted at Leipzig which called for a “rational global genebank system.”
Collection Investment Plan
Genebank investment and upgrading plan developed with significant funding shortfalls.
Idea of an Endowment Fund
CGIAR’s Finance Committee’s Working Group on Long-term Resouce Mobilization endorsed IPGRI’s (now Bioversity) recommendation to establish endowment fund to support Centre’s in-trust collections.
Consultations with FAO, OECD countries, developing countries, the GFAR and NGOs found broad support for idea of endowment fund.
Committing to Establish the Crop Trust
FAO and CGIAR formally committed to establishing the Crop Trust at World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg. The website “Start with a Seed” was launched.
Crop Trust Makes Its Case
The Crop Trust presented the case for its creation to the 9th Regular Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) who strongly endorsed the initiative.
The Plant Treaty and the Crop Trust
29 JUNE 2004
21 OCTOBER 2004
The Crop Trust acquired its legal personality under international law when Sweden signed thus fulfilling the requirement for at least 5 of the 7 UN FAO regions to be represented.
First Long-Term Agreement Signed
The Crop Trust signed first long-term partnership to support an international collection with the International Rice Research Institute.
The Crop Trust's First Major Project
The Crop Trust started work on Securing the Biological Basis of Agriculture.
The Seed Vault Opened
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened in a partnership between the Government of Norway, NordGen, and the Crop Trust.
The Endowment Fund
The Crop Trust’s Crop Diversity Endowment Fund surpassed USD 95 million.
Crop Wild Relative Project Started
The Crop Trust started project on Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: Collecting, Protecting and Preparing Crop Wild Relatives.
The Genebank CRP Started
The Crop Trust and CGIAR entered into five-year agreement to manage and sustain the world’s international crop collections.
New Workplace and Fundraising Strategy Adopted
The Pledging Conference
Governments and private sector organizations met in Washington DC on 15 April 2016 to make a joint commitment to combat world hunger by safeguarding crop diversity, a prerequisite for global food security.
The meeting paved the way for doubling the Crop Trust Endowment Fund – reaching USD 300 million. In total, half a billion dollars has been pledged towards the work of the Crop Trust, since its inception in 2004.